Have you ever heard of Dog Mountain? No, this isn’t just a magical place you’ve made up in your imagination, it actually exists! Dog Mountain is located in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. It spreads over 150 acres and is designed for the joy of you and your dog. No leashes required here!
Owners Gwen and Stephen Huneck bought the 150 acres over 20 years ago with a vision in mind. Stephen is an artist and he specializes in adorable prints featuring our favorite furry friends. There was barn on the property so the couple decided to change it into a studio to display Stephen’s work. Walking and hiking trails and dog ponds are disbursed throughout the entire property. Dogs are welcome all day, every day. In one of Stephen’s published books he beautifully writes, “dogs bring us closer to nature, and they help us live in the moment and feel unconditionally loved. They give us so much and ask for so little in return.” We concur, Stephen.
One of the greatest pieces on the property is the dog chapel. According to Stephen, the idea of a dog chapel came to him when he was recovering from a grave illness. He connected the preciousness of life to the priceless gifts that dogs give us. He knew it may be a crazy venture to accomplish while simultaneously dealing with all of his medical expenses. But, the long term vision and purpose of the dog chapel was something that he couldn’t walk away from. The chapel would become a place of love and a space to help achieve closure of the loss of a loved one.
Stephen moved forward and built the church to resemble an 1820s style building to make it look as though the church had been there for hundreds of years. The church’s sign reads: The Dog Chapel: Welcome, All Creeds, All Breeds, No Dogmas Allowed.
Inside, Stephen created an original “wall” that was meant to have messages of love with pictures of beloved pets. That one wall has expanded to every wall of the chapel. Now when you step foot inside you are immediately, and literally, surrounded by love. Stephen says, “Grieving for a lost dog is one aspect of the Dog Chapel, but equally important is celebrating the joy of living and the bond between dogs and their owners.” The next time you are in Vermont with your dog, try to plan a trip to Dog Mountain, we are sure the trek will bring joy to you and your dog’s life!
You can donate to Dog Mountain here: Dog Mountain Donations
Dog Lover Store
September 21st, 2016
Updated August 1, 2019
Kim is the co-owner of DogLoverStore with her husband, John. She earned her BS in operations management at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. She enjoys walking in nature, gardening in the sun, eating sour candy, going on drives, yoga, and reading.